For the second year in a row, the Speaker of the House of Commons has chastised Finance Minister Bill Morneau for stuffing measures into a bill that were never mentioned in his budget.
Speaker Geoff Regan ruled Tuesday that measures in Mr. Morneau’s 854-page budget bill – which Mr. Regan called “massive” – related to new federal labour laws were not mentioned in the 2018 budget and will therefore be voted on separately by MPs.
The government said they were mentioned in the 2017 budget.
The House of Commons has given the Speaker the power to order separate votes on bills – part of a Liberal Party campaign pledge to stop the misuse of omnibus bills.
However, since taking office, the Liberals have repeatedly been accused of using large omnibus bills to avoid scrutiny.
The Speaker ruled last fall that measures contained in a 2017 budget bill were not related to the budget, despite Mr. Morneau’s repeated claims that everything in the legislation was connected to the budget.
The Speaker thanked NDP finance critic Peter Julian Tuesday for raising his concern that a bill of such size limits the ability of MPs to review its contents.